Inderscience Publishers

Muslims in a minority: a brief comparison of the modern Western world, the Mudejar phenomenon and the Sahel from the middle ages to the present day

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Several million Muslims are currently living as a minority in Western societies. This minority status has been rare in the history of Islam. Nevertheless, there have been some interesting incidents regarding this, such as those in the Iberian Peninsula in the past and the Sahel to the present day. Despite all their differences, some overlaps are observed in both cases, such as the frequent occurrence of a certain de facto secularisation, the emergence of a clear ideological eclecticism as a way of accommodating it, albeit always precarious, and finally, the further development of fundamentalist reactions against it. In contrast, the present-day Western world is characterised by having a well-established secular culture. This could allow the majority of Muslim immigrants to develop secular lifestyles over time that are much less precarious than in the past; although the legitimacy of these will require some reworking of their own religious doctrine.

Keywords: migrations, Muslim minorities, fundamentalism, Mudejarism, Sahel, Muslims, Islam, history, Iberian Peninsula, Muslim immigrants

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